Sponsorship info

Posted By: tburd

Sponsorship info - 12/29/05 03:26 PM

Hey, I'm looking to get some sponsorship for next season. Can anyone who's been successful with it lend some tips? We're a NF18 team doing a mix of distance and buoy races.

Is it better to seek money/gear for specific events or the entire season? Also, what kind of information do you give the possible sponsors? I've seen some impressive proposals but they're from Open50 campaigns and the like. Would the same format apply for beachcats? I'd appreciate any advice out there.
Posted By: Mary

Re: Sponsorship info - 12/29/05 04:22 PM

I have a question, too, about sponsorship. When you have a sponsor for your boat or team, do you add the sponsor as an "additional insured" in the liability portion of your boat insurance policy?
Posted By: BrianK

Re: Sponsorship info - 12/29/05 06:27 PM

I believe many have found that sponsorship in catamaran sailing is hard to find. It quite often is not worth the time investment in getting it and the effort associated with providing them with advertising. Make sure its at a level that is worth it to both parties.

However, if you feel so inclined, many of the sailors who have gotten sponsorship usually have an "in" with a company, and usually its a company that has significant funds. Talk to your friends and people you know first.

When Ellen MacArthur was getting started, she sent 2,500 letters to potential sponsors, and only 2 replied. So keep in mind its not that easy.

Posted By: scooby_simon

Re: Sponsorship info - 12/29/05 08:42 PM


How good are you right now?

This will control what you can expect.

If you are front of the fleet(top 5% maybe), you can go for the big fish, otherwise keep it simple.

If you are not top of the fleet it is almost easier as you will be cheaper to sponser (afterall, no sponser will buy someone a new boat if they won't be going around the marks in first place showing the sponsers graphics.....).

Talk to the local (independant) chandlers and bars / Cafe's, find the local business people who like sailing and talk to them about supporting you in some way:

Can the local petrol retailer "give" you free petrol ?, can the local Chandler give you free sailing kit ? Can the local sail maker make you free sails ? Can the local Chandler cut you a deal to sell their stock at open events from your trailer box for a 10% cut ? etc.... Basically when you start out, you need to find people who can help you at little cost to them as you are (realistically) going to be getting them fairly little in return for their investment. For these poeple, you need to write to them, or just walk in with some ideas and talk to them when it is quiet (for them) and not 10 minutes before closing time.

If you are top of the fleet and after the big fish then you need to be much more professional about it.

Get some pukka marketing lit. together - presentations (multi-media on CD that you can send them), list of results (don't lie they will be checked), probable exposure you can get them (eyes per day per logo etc.). Costs to them. New sail is this, Title sponser new F18 is this. Title sponser for the Nationals is this, Title sponser for the worlds is this. Wearing their wetsuits (after they give you them free) is this etc etc etc... Come up with a plan, an execution plan (x contacts a week) and do some digging around. Which CEO's sail, which CEO's Wife's sail, which CEO's Son's sail (Coaching option from you for the son if you are qualified etc) Find people who might want to sponser you.

And also customise each on before you send it out (put a GOOD picture of your boat on the front cover) and later on, put a picture of the boat with a mock-up including their graphics showing how it could look (and a paragraph below indicating that you hope it was OK to use their logo and if this is not the case you will delete all images after the receipt of a simple e-mail.

If people like the CD's, they may call you in for a chat - wear a suit !!!!!!!!

Build yourself a Website (or get a mate to do it for you).

To give you some idea, in my time sailing I have the following sponsership's under my belt.

LOcal Chandler gave me and my crew new wet suits and kit (approx 1000) for a collection of stickers on the boat for a year.

Next year he also added the "selling kit out of the box".

My crew also managed to get about 500 from his employer, I managed to get some extra time off.

Following year we got VERY lucky and my crew's employer offered full blown sponsership for a Tornado campaign, 3 boats, travel, etc.... He spent a lot of time talking to them (I was in and out of the country on business) and we came up with a plan that was workable. We had the finances committed and were about to order 3 Tornado's from Goran when they pulled the plug as their sponsership budgets were going in diferent directions. Ho Hum....

So you really need to decide what you want to do (and if you can sell yourself at that level) and then do it......
Posted By: Jake

Re: Sponsorship info - 12/29/05 09:18 PM

Scooby gives good advice. It's hard work to get sponsorship and you find a lot of dead ends after climbing a lot of steep long roads. I just fell through on one I had put a good deal of energy in - but had every indication that I was about to lock in a multi year sponsorship agreement for the Tybee 500. Be prepared to be let down! Sometimes I wonder if I wouldn't be better off if I took up a second job and spent the hours there instead of looking for sponsorship!

I have had good luck getting support from great people that are involved in the sailing business. We've got some releases coming out in the next week or so but we're getting some great support from a dealer and some private support elsewhere for our upcoming Tybee 500 run. Work with folks in the industry and be prepared to accept free or discounted equipment. Cash money is very difficult to come by but can be found.

Keep in mind that you are asking for a sponsor to make an investment for which they will expect something in return. Do what you can to optomise their "return". Consider offering to set the boat up and dress in logo'd attire at functions, take people for rides, etc. Make sure you follow up and give the key person that provided you the support some token of the teams appreciation. A nice team photo for the office wall is a good one.
Posted By: acceleratedchaos

Re: Sponsorship info - 12/31/05 01:35 PM

If Trip (tburd) and Mike can figure out how to get money out of sponsors as quickly as they figured out how to get their boat flying around the race course, then they should be giving us all pointers very soon. Best of luck buddy, hope things are going well! you headed back to NO this semester?
Posted By: Tony_F18

Media value... - 01/01/06 03:31 PM

I was looking at the supermaxi Alfa Romeo website and there was an article there about how its owner Neville Crichton secured sponsorship for the 2006 european campaign.

Anyway, he says that in the '02-'03 season the yacht created $40m (Aus?) per annum worth of media coverage. How much would a season of F18 racing be worth in terms of coverage? How is this calculated?, and what does this mean for a sponsor commercially (revenue etc).

Click to read the full story.
Posted By: tburd

Re: Sponsorship info - 01/08/06 07:34 PM

Yea, I'm headed back tomorrow. I've been working to get the team going again at school but figured I could get a start on F18 stuff as well.

Question though, where do the numbers come from when you list a price for various levels of sponsorship?
Posted By: scooby_simon

Re: Sponsorship info - 01/08/06 08:19 PM

Make a list.

Top of the list is a new boat, plus sails (how many really depends on what you think you need in a development class like the F18), travel and kit for a full year.

Bottom of the list is to wear their caps at one open event.

And then every step inbetween - but don't blind them with a 5 page list to start with!!!!!
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